Monday, April 26, 2010

Non-public statuses

Christine C. Schaefer...

1) ....wonders if you would mind MOVING the BFP away from the door to my office.  For cryin' out loud.
2)  :  "Don't touch me again."
3) a past blog post from "The Director's Journal" and FINALLY felt something.  Something.
4) patiently waiting to disappear....
5)  ...needs to know so she can properly set the thickness dial for her exo-skeleton.
6) really overwhelmed by the protectiveness and love of her people.
7)  ....can't remember when she's ever been this physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.
8) ...will now attempt to clean up the damage from the tornado that went through her car, her house, and her life last week...
9) tearing up reading all the post-performance comments on FaceBook.
10)  ...has SO much to be thankful for....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stream-of-Consciousness Statuses

I need my current FB status to stay on show stuff, but there's so much else rattling around in here....

Christine C. Schaefer...
1) ...wonders what it must have cost him to call.
2) ...thinks that the painting looks lovely in the corner collecting dust.
3) ...can't remember when she last ate.
4) ...was surprised and maybe a little touched.
5) ...hopes you got said what you wanted to say before I walked away.  Bitch.
6) ...wonders what will happen when the lights go down.
7) ...really thought it was a B- at best...
8) really starting to recognize 'pretentious' when she sees it.
9) ...never thought of weddings as 'obnoxiously loud'.
9) sort of amazed at everyone's different opinions.
10) ...loves the Tolkein, but isn't sure she gets it.

If you love something...

What-ever.  You know how it goes.  Stupid.  Not playing that game now.  There's a poster in Jacobs' room that says, "In life, there are no make-up exams."  That's right, there aren't.  But enough of stupid, angsty cliches...

I believe the world...or maybe not the world--maybe just me...I will soon learn something real about the strength or the frailty of friendship.  How strong and steadfast or or weak and fragile.  It's certainly not been a friendship that was well-maintained.  We have beaten, battered, tested, teased, challenged, abused, insulted, argued and fought in the two years we've known each other.  And still, it has survived.  Because of the HeartLink.  Gosh, I'd almost forgotten about that. The HeartLink, like so many other things, taken it for granted.  

How far can elastic be stretched
before it snaps?
With machetes
we hack away at that taut slender tendril
we weaken and burn it
with the venom of hatred
each denying its very existence

The Golden Compass is shattered
and the band will play on

So much for my attempt to write a sad poem in my journal and move on.  

I broke a hard-fast rule.  Ha.  I probably broke several.  But the one I KNOW I broke is this:  "Never, ever deliver a mortal blow."  In the 23 years of marriage, of arguments, of fights, as angry as I have sometimes been, I have never uttered a unforgivable word to him.  Not so, here.  We both cast an Unforgivable Curse--I with actions, he with words.  Ah, well.  It can't be undone now....

It's been a long, hard week.  There's still more of it left.  Must, must stay focused and continue to soak up the hugs and smiling faces of happy parents and ecstatic children.  This is what sustains me and blocks the passage to the underworld.  But what about next week, when the applause and laughter fade.  What demons will haunt me then?  What has been so solidly tamped down all this week will eventually come bubbling to the surface.  How lonely and sad...or...happy and free?  Who knows?  Right now, I only feel blank.  Dead.  Flatline.  It feels a lifetime since I turned to look at the doorway and saw and felt that overwhelming warmth of love...

I believe, ahead, there is planned negotiations with a mediator present.  A grand Festivus Airing of the Grievances.  There are those in the periphery that are interested in our continued alliance.  There are those who are not.  Am I?  Is he?  Time passes, and we settle into new shoes, new clothes, new single-half self-images.  The strangeness of the New Reality eventually becomes comfortable.  How much time is too much time?  How much spilt blood can be mopped up?  Is there time at all?

I dunno.  I just don't know.  And I got poems to write.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ten Minus Five Unpublished Statuses

Christine C. Schaefer

1)  awakens from a dream that wasn't really a dream...

4)  's husband is even asking her if things are smoothed out yet.  Huh.  Who knew he was even paying attention?
5)  knows that the BEST acting isn't going to be on the stage this evening....
6)  thinks that there's a lot of really bad advice floating around out there...
7)  thinks it's too late.

9)  is...surprised at how many think I was wrong.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"We're raising her...." she said.

"We're raising her."  That's what she said.  A long time ago she said this.  It still applies.

And she also said, "It isn't often that you experience a friendship that takes up an entire half of your heart." 

She said a lot of other stuff, too.  Wise stuff.  Words and communication and rational thinking come easily to her.  

She said, "I love you."  She said, "You're going to throw away these last few months?"  And she said, "You need to fix this NOW." 

My rudimentary understanding of reincarnation is that you're forced to keep living lives over and over until you get it right.  This is the week where I blew it, the one were I sealed my fate of coming back again next life.

So tired.  Not feeling is tiring.  I've already fallen asleep at the keyboard.  Trying to remember what my friend said when she made me go for a ride with her.  All the smart things she said.  She made sense.  She said what I did was wrong, wrong, wrong. 

Compartmentalizing until after the show.  Have to.  A trick I learned from the Other Half. 

This is my blog where, in past entries, I've poured out my love and anger and hurt and joy.  There's none of that here right now.  I just feel numb.  And tired.  Fighting off tired.  Fighting off feeling.  What will I think about today tomorrow?

Tech I'll remember it later....

It is Wednesday of Tech Week.  When I look back, what memory will remain of this week, this show?  I already don't have a memory of Monday. In the circuitous train of thoughts in my head, there's probably one-third or even more that's blacked out right now, so that when the minute hand of my thought cycle edges into it, I just fast-forward through it.  Simply cannot afford to be distracted.  I won't let myself.  Must see this through to the end.  Too many people counting on me.  Too many trusting children's faces looking hopefully up at me as their see them through to the end, to make this a wonderful and positive experience for them, to be the strong leader that they need me to be.  Sometimes I drift around to asking a question:  Why? What? Where?  I'm mostly met with short answers...or a shrug, and I don't press.  Clearly, they've been coached; they've collectively agreed that this train should not derail.  

Today is our matinee.  And once again, I'm out of bed before the alarm.  Need to get more pop, bump up the lobby, talk to Leah, print out the reservation sheet....details, details.  I will lead and direct and answer all the questions, make all the decisions, be all that I am called on to be, and love, love, love those kids.  I will see this through to the end.   And then what?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An Open Letter to the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership

Dear Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership:

Well, you broke a little boy's heart today--a heart that was set on Marnie, the Sky Terrier.  He had hoped to gather her into his heart and into his arms and take her home.  But, somehow, we didn't meet your standards for Responsible Pet Ownership.

I'm sorry, but I beg to differ.  First of all, please note that I'm a responsible world citizen--I opted for a shelter dog rather than some pure bred AKC Kennel pup.  I fully realize that there are already enough dogs in the world that no one wants--why make more?  I'd also like to point out, for good measure, that both of my previous dogs were spayed.

I filled out your elaborate form--asking questions about my household, the number of adults, the number of children, their ages, any current or previous pets (and what happened to them), the size of our yard, and our daily routine of being in and out of the home.

I spent a good 90 minutes in a telephone interview with the dog's current foster mom talking about why we were wanting to adopt and what we were looking for in a dog, asking questions about Marnie to try to determine if she 'fit' us and we 'fit' her.

I went out of my way--on a very busy weekend--to drive my son up to PetsMart at Castleton to meet and visit with Marnie...and he loved her.  I wasn't sure he would because he had his heart set on a husky puppy (rather than a 5-year-old dog), but he ended up falling in love with her.  At the end of the visit, I met with the foster mom and we made arrangements for a home inspection later in the week.

 Then, last evening, I got the phonecall from the foster mom saying that our application for Marnie had been rejected.  We'd been turned down because the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership was nervous that we don't have a fence around our sizable yard.  Really.

Gosh.  Somehow I've managed to own two dogs for over twenty years...somehow my children have managed to stay alive--in SPITE of my irresponsibility in not having a fenced in yard.  And I resent the insinuation that the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership cares more about Marnie than we would. 

Can we just step back a minute here for me to point out something.  This is a shelter dog. This is a dog that No. One. Wants.  Otherwise, she wouldn't BE IN A SHELTER.  Do you get it?  WE wanted her.  She would be in a home with a family that would love her like we've loved our previous dogs.   We would feed her and make sure she got proper vet care. She would have lots of attention and live the life that a good dog should.  We weren't planning on throwing her out into traffic like some canine version of Frogger.  Yeah, it does get pretty congested here in the cul-de-sac we live on....

And so, we start over--with choices from the ARPO off the list because we know we not good enough for them.  Hopefully, we'll be considered fit parents with our second choice....

Good bye, Marnie, and good luck with whatever family is responsible enough to have you.


Christine C. Schaefer

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ten Statuses for Saturday, April 17th--

Christine C. Schaefer

1)   ...slept for ten hours.  Could sleep for ten more.
2)  ...just heard a prom-related story encouraging parents to have a discussion with their prom-going teens about....drinking?  Nooooo.  Safe sex?  Noooooo.  Domestic violence.  What?
3)  :  Oh!  The RACE!!!  We're missing it!!!
4) ...also just heard that one of Tiger Woods mistresses is writing a book.  PunFest 2010 is about to get underway.  Oh...what's it called?  [wait for it....] "Up to Par".  HAHAHAHA!!
5) ...LOVES that you want to take your photos in the Gallery.  It's 'home', isn't it?
6)  :  Mary Kay vs. baby shower.  Six of one, half dozen of the other.
7)  :  Why?  WHY did you tell him he could wear his Chucks???  WHYYYYYYYYYY????!!!
8)  thinks she probably won't pass the rigorous interview/home visit process required to take in a shelter dog.  Are you kidding?  What does it take to adopt a dog that No. One. Wants????
9)  Ha-HAAA!!!  I can play hardball, too, Casper.
10)  :  Hair cut day for the Chias!!  Snip, snip, snip!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marking the Inches

I'm in such a rush, such a panic this week.  SOOOoooo much needs to be done.  This show, that show...prom this weekend for my son and the drama-teens, graduation looms on the horizon, plans for summer, vacation, theatre camp, swimming lessons, and on and on and on.  So busy.  Feel like I can't spare a brain cell for ANYthing extra.

But...this morning, in the midst of all this frenetic thinking and rushing and mental list-making...I stopped to make a memory.  A memory of one of the mundane details in my life.  Something I see every day, a part of my current daily routine...  And here it is:   a car door..  An image that will some day be just another  wispy memory in the pensieve...  ;-)

And so I mark these days.  A day of rushing around, trying not to fall too far behind.  A day like so many before.   I make a memory.  Like Frederick gathering the sun's rays, and colors and words for cold dark winter days ahead.  Days of change.  Days of future agedness. 

And word up to the youth.  When you get to be 50....or older...make sure you can look back and say you did what you wanted to do.  I'm not talking about your bucket list.  I'm talking about your day-to-day walk.  Make sure you walk it well.  It's not about the destination; it's about the journey.  Do well with the time you're given.  And make sure you mark the inches as well as the milestones...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Memories of Worrying Past

All of this introspection in the WoW (no, NOT World of Warcraft, World of Worrying) has sent me down memory lane to an early day in my relationship with my husband.  December 23rd, 1986.  The two of us were living in an apartment in Indy.  We were due to drive up to my parents' home in northern Indiana for Christmas and to announce our engagement. 

John had gone out--I forget what for--Christmas shopping or grocery shopping, to get his hair cut--something--and he was late coming back.  This was the days before cell phones, mind you, youngsters.  I didn't know where he was, couldn't get ahold of him.  He was gone a LONG time, much longer than whatever the errand should have taken, and I was worried.  I went through all the stages in about 30 minutes and straight to Worry Melt-Down so that by the time he got home, I was a blubbery, shuddering mess.  I was SURE he'd been killed in one of those tragic Christmas season accidents, on the eve of announcing our engagement, my one true chance for happiness dashed beneath the wheels of some drunken truck driver.  I remember greeting him at the door and, yes, his absolutely mystification of my state of mind.  Had he been the profanity man then that he is today (that is, from None then to Occasionally now), his attitude would have been WTF.  Ha.  I have to laugh when I think about it, but the moment wasn't funny AT all.  I was a worrying mess.  Yes, all for nothing, was a mess I remember all the same.

The Midnight Transition to 100% Mom...

If you're not a mom and never will be, you will probably never know what it's like to stay up worrying and waiting for that 'I'm alright' call; that 'here I am' text, the sound of a slamming car door and 'I'm home' message of the key in the lock.

There must be stages of worry just like there are stages of grief.

Stage One--the 'Hmmm' Stage
This is the stage where something reminds you of the 'worryee'(the recipient of the worry)--it could be anything, anywhere--a song, a thought, an anecdote, the water bottles rolling around in the car...and you think 'Hmmm, haven't heard from for awhile....'

Stage Two--the 'Mild Concern' Stage
This is just a smidgen beyond the 'Hmmm' Stage.  This is where 'haven't heard from for awhile' evolves into the 'really should have heard by now' phase.  The visible effects of this stage are a nervous inclination to check one's cell phone at increasing intervals.  This phase, interestingly, follows the time lapse of labor pains--the phone is first checked every 20 minutes, then every 15, finally tapering down to 10, 5, and 2 minutes and eventually into the next stage, Irritation. 

Stage Three--Irritation
As the hours of 'no hear from' wear on, concern intensifies into irritation.  The manifestations of this are--if not physically, then mentally--an arms-folded, finger-drumming, toe tapping in impatience kind of attitude.  Words like 'thoughtless', and 'inconsiderate' and phrases like 'do you know what time it is?', 'would it have killed you to...?' and 'give you a piece of my mind when you come in' creep into the thought process.

Stage Four--Full Blown Worry
Full-Blown Worry can be initiated, generally, by time milestones:  11:00 p.m.  The midnight hour.  1 a.m.  The sense of 'surely I'll hear by 11/midnight/1 a.m.' can drag Stage Four on for several hours depending on the age/regular habits of the recipient of the worry.  At this stage, the worrier can think of little else other than what could have gone wrong to prevent the worry-ee from making contact.  Emotions in this stage switch randomly, irrationally and inconsistently from irritation to anger to anxiety to bald-faced worry.  Thought processes sometimes become verbalizations during which the worrier is known to pace and hold open one-sided conversations with the non-present worry-ee:  "Where ARE you???  Why haven't you called?  Don't you know I'm worried sick about you?"  And depending on the age of the worry-ee: "I KNOW you're grown, but just because you're 18 doesn't mean I stop caring....could you at LEAST acknowledge that by letting me know you're okay!!!"

Stage Five--Worry Melt-Down
It has now been hours since a reasonable expected check-in/arrival time.  This is a stage most commonly experienced between 2 and 4 in the morning.  The worrier has moved well beyond concern, irritation, worry, and anger into a sort of resignation that the worst has indeed happen.  Worry morphs into grief as the worrier sits by the window wrapped in a blanket, cell phone in hand, and it's a lonely vigil indeed.  There are tears, self-recrimination.  The sack cloth and ashes are at the ready in the hall closet.  Coulda-woulda-shoulda sets in.  Thought process revolves around how life will be in the absence of this person because only true tragedy could have kept him from making contact.

Interestingly enough, at any time during these five stages, should the worry-ee make that long-anticipated phonecall or, better yet, walk in the door--all is immediately forgotten and forgiven.  The hours of worry, the overnight ten years of aging, the shortening of life spans, all vanish in the blink of an eye.  So relieved is the worrier to hear-from/see the 'worry-ee' that it's as if it never happened.  The concern, the agonizing worry, the tears, the long-rehearsed 'piece of my mind' speech are immediately a distant memory (if that).  The worry-ee, in spite of his blatant, inconsiderate and thoughtless teen/young adult behavior, will be no doubt mystified by this flood of an emotional response/welcome, and when confronted by the ordeal of the worrier will, true to form, respond with comments as to how 'silly' or 'stupid' it was to worry so.  And in a bizarre turn of events, the worrier actually agrees with this assessment (word to worry-ee:  This would be a prime time window of opportunity to ask for...gas money, a new cell phone, a more reliable form of transportation--anything that can be perceived as increasing the likelihood responsible behavior and safe passage through a world fraught with unexpected hazards...).

And in the end, all is well.  Worry-ee and worrier are reunited.  Worrier may take worry-ee out to breakfast or even reward him (see above list); promises are made about 'next time', lessons are learned, all is forgiven, and it will never happen again, right?  Riiiigggghhhhttt.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ten Things That Make Life Worth Living--4/7/10 Edition

1)  Being able to roll down my car windows.
2)  Freckle-faced, blond-haired girls in cowboy boots.
3)  "Wicked", "The Lion King" and "Rent".
4)  Three paid-for cars in my garage.
5)  Classic rock and roll.
6)  New puppies.
7)  Jelly beans.
8)  Laughter, laughter, laughter with my young people.
9)  Late-night giga-litres of pop.
10)  The eternally-on-the-horizon 'next show'.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Easter Morning Quote

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in some one’s eyes.
           --The Secret Garden by Mary Hodgson Burnett

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Green Growing Project, Day One

Okay, so I'm outdoing myself with my gift to the KidsPlayers for this show.  I don't really want to give away my idea in case one of them stumbles onto this blog, but suffice it to say, I'm trying my hand at growing something.  I have blown out the yolks of 42 eggs, cut the tops out with fingernail scissors (did you know you that eggshells can be cut?), coated them with ModPodge to make them stronger, glued them into small flower pots, filled them 2/3 full with dirt, added a tablespoon of water, sprinkled in grass seed, and then added another bit of dirt to cover the seed.

I was discussing the project with my partners at the Gallery and made the (apparently hysterically funny) mistake of asking about planting grass seed right side up so it would grow UP instead of down into the dirt.  Their response, once they finished wiping their eyes, was, "Nature finds a way...."

Was it really that dumb a question??

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Heart of Rock and Roll is Still Beating

Some people never go anywhere.  Some people go somewhere and it's always to the same place.  I grew up in a family like that--but MY family (the one I made) is different.  I'm proud to say that I've dragged my people all over the country to such an interesting assortment and variety of places never seen by most.

This week, it was Cleveland, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame--a place I'd considered before, but thought that Cleveland was really too far away for a weekend trip.  This week, with a little prodding from friends who'd been there, I changed my mind.  What a day it has been; what a rare mood I'm in; what a fabulous experience we had there.

Upon arriving (we walked from our hotel), we took photos of large guitars that had been adorned, painted, decorated by local and some more well-known artists.  Like Chicago has its bulls, and Indiana has its large tennis shoes, and Michigan has its bears, Cleveland has huge guitars--we saw guitars decorated in tribute, and guitars by the famous (Yoko Ono, for one).

The lobby was the only place one was allowed to photograph, but there was plenty to photograph, so I took a bunch of pictures.  Then we turned in our tickets (that we bought at the hotel for $2 less....;-) and went in. 

We were funneled into a movie theatre where we saw a fabulous--I mean FABULOUS--video collage documenting--in song and image and very little printed word on the screen--the roots of rock and roll.  And it was all interspersed with train imagery.  Really great.  Made me think of Carie and wish she could see it.

Then we were ushered into another theatre where we saw more modern images of rock and roll, it's power and it's ability to motivate and how it pushes the envelope.  Clips of Mr. MoJoRisin' getting arrested...Madonna's cutting edge performance artist tour... Interesting.

Then we started through the museum.  Fascinating; nostalgic; memory-inducing.

Grace Slick's fringed leather vest.***** Jimi Hendrix's 2-year-old baby picture.*****Jim Morrison's cub scout shirt.

Buddy Holly's high school diploma.*****The hand-written words to 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'We Didn't Start the Fire'. ***** Stevie Nicks' wardrobe. ***** Johnny Ramone's very worn out guitar. ***** A dress that wouldn't fit over Aretha's thigh today. ***** Overheard a comment in front of a Steven Tyler wardrobe piece:  "Oh.  A guy wore that?" ***** An exhibit about music censorship which made us all laugh:

***** We saw a great hour-long, year-by-year movie tribute to all the rock and roll hall of fame inductees that was wonderful and moving, for those that have passed.  At the end of 2006, an image of a letter sent by the Sex Pistols.  Funny. ***** Bits of sheets from a hotel where the Beatles slept. ***** An entire exhibit on the Boss (where I got in trouble for trying to video the words to 'Thunder Road' as the wound up the circular stairway. ***** Janis' beads. ***** An 8-track tape of Fleetwood Mac. ***** Another family with young children, schooling them in the music of 'the old days'. ***** An exhibit on the great disc jockeys and their personal style in song dedication. ***** The 500 Most Influential Songs of Rock--a room I never thought I'd get my husband out of...

And oh, so much more.  A monument to modern media and culture from the early 20th Century and beyond.  I HIGHLY recommend it.  AND our hotel (DoubleTree/Hilton) was actually underpriced.

The best part of this vacation was that we all actually relaxed.  Forgot about our troubles and pressures back home.  Forgot that we were spending money we didn't have.  Forgot about everything except the family, and the music, and the times that won't come again--as we prepare for Charlie to graduate from high school.  The old hippie I'm married to--whom I swear would never leave the house but for me--enjoyed it, too.  I know he did.  He comes off sometimes as a set-in-his-ways, old stick-in-the-mud, but one of these days, he will look back and be glad for this frenetic, 'gad-about' of a wife who has filled his life with two children, friends, and laughter and memories.  The music is the soundtrack of our good, good life.

So...on that note, let's hear from someone who isn't in the Hall of Fame...

I’ve been lately thinking about my life’s time, all the things I’ve done and how it’s been
And I can’t help believing in my own mind, I know I’m gonna hate to see it end
I’ve seen a lot of sunshine, slept out in the rain, spent a night or two all on my own
I’ve shared my family's treasures, had myself some friends and spent a time or two in my own home
And I have to say it now, it’s been a good life all in all
It’s really fine to have a chance to hang around and sit here by the fire and watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old honey sit and toss the times around
And talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care 
How long it’s been since yesterday and what about tomorrow
And what about our dreams and all the memories we share....
---Henry John Deutschendorf